Ijaw Youths Council Worldwide, has reacted to the controversial memo by one H. A. Tahir, an officer in the office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami which purport that the correct name of the community hosting the Nigerian Maritime University should be Okerenghigho and not Okerenkoko.
IYC said that with the memo it is now obvious and crystal clear that the Buhari led administration does not want the Nigerian Maritime University to start academic activities hence “this new diversionary strategy to cause unnecessary inter-ethic crisis in the area wherein the university is situated and the Niger Delta at large”.
In a statement made available to BigPen Online on Friday, IYCs President, Eric Omare said that the federal government is obviously coming up with the strategy because their earlier tactics to use corruption to stop the take-off of the institution has failed.
“We strongly believe that the federal government wants to instigate another round of crisis in the Niger Delta region just as it is using Fulani herdsmen to instigate crisis to kill people innocent citizens all over the country especially in the middle belt region.
“We strongly call on the National Assembly to ignore the memo from the office of the Attorney General as it was done in bad faith so as to instigate another round of crisis in the Niger Delta region.
“If the federal government is not interested in the take-off of the Maritime University, it should say so expressly and not instigate another crisis in the Niger Delta region.
The Attorney General of the federation, Malami was said to have given the advise on the location of the university to the National Assembly on the strength of a supreme court judgment being brandished by the Itsekiri nation.
However, IYC in reaction said that the site or community wherein the Nigerian Maritime University is situated has never been known, addressed or called Okerenghigho at any time.
The actual, historical and legally recognized name of the host community to the Nigerian Maritime University is Okerenkoko, it declares.
“The name Okerenkoko is reflected in all historical and political documents and institutions including the Okerenkoko Primary School, Okerenkoko Secondary School, Okerenkoko electoral ward in all electoral documents, Okerenkoko General Hospital etc.
“There is no community known as Okerenghigho within and around the area where the Nigerian Maritime University is situated. Therefore, the purported Supreme Court case of James Uluba and others v. Chief E. E. Sillo has nothing to do with the land wherein the Nigerian Maritime University is situated.
“IYC however insisted that the name of the site of the Nigerian Maritime University is and would remain Okerenkoko, vowing that there is no amount of misrepresentation that can change the name from the actual name to Okerenghigho or any other name.
“It is elementary knowledge that institutions all over the world are known by the name of the place where it is situated and not otherwise.
“It would be recalled that during the public hearing on the bill to establish the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, similar presentation was made by the Itsekiri delegation but it was rightly ignored by both houses of the National Assembly.
“Consequently, we thank the National Assembly for standing on the side of truth and urge that the already passed bill be presented for Presidential assent”.